http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/02/republicans-must-defend-senate-seats.html#commentsNate Silver, fivethirtyeight.com, on Bayh:"Although Evan Bayh's retirement in Indiana was clearly great news for Republicans, it didn't necessarily increase their odds for a Senate takeover all that materially. The reason is that the Republicans' path of least resistance toward a 10-seat pickup already involved their winning Indiana."Silver's 10-seat oddsmaking:"Republicans are overwhelming favorites in North Dakota, strong favorites in Delaware, Arkansas and Nevada, modest favorites in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Colorado, and perhaps at least-even money in Illinois. Those are the eight obvious opportunities. Number nine would be California, where I'm a little bit skeptical of Carly Fiorina or Chuck DeVore's ability to defeat Barbara Boxer, but where Tom Campbell might have the goods. The tenth seat is tougher: Republicans would need a recruiting coup in Wisconsin (unlikely; Tommy Thompson just went to consult for a hedge fund), New York (less unlikely, but George Pataki would need to raise a lot of money very fast), or Washington (less unlikely, but Dino Rossi has kept a very low profile) -- or some kind of wild card, like Robert Byrd falling ill in West Virginia.However, even if Republicans can recruit a good candidate in Washington or New York, and make smart decisions in California, and win the toss-ups in places like Illinois, and not screw up any of the seven or so races in which they appear to be favored, they also have to make sure that Democrats don't take over any of their own seats. And this is the factor that the market may not be properly accounting for. The Democrats are competitive right now in Missouri, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Kentucky, could become that way in North Carolina and possibly Florida, and there's an outside chance they could get a wild card of their own like Arizona. In most of these races, you either have a Republican (in an anti-establishment year) who is more a part of the establishment than his opponent, primary dynamics that could lead to the selection of an inexperienced or too-conservative candidate, or both.Clearly, 2010 will be to some greater or lesser extent an anti-Democratic year. The question is to what extent it might also be an anti-incumbent year, in which case Republicans could lose in Missouri or Ohio (where they'll nominate card-carrying members of the GOP establishment) or perhaps a state like North Carolina, where they have an incumbent proper. Unlike in 1994, the GOP remains quite strongly unpopular. Also as compared with 1994, the Republicans are less cohesive, and that could result in their nominating a sub-optimal candidate in Kentucky, New Hampshire, Florida or Arizona."
If either party runs a TEA party candidate in a primary, who cares which side wins. We're looking for fiscal conservatives not D or R names. This is the thrust of the TEA Party. The GOP better not think they're safe.
Meanwhile, Harry Reid may have just gotten his butt saved in Nevada by exactly that. Son of NY-23, anyone?
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